Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


In the literal middle of the night, if my honeylove is working late and I can't sleep, I have been watching the Duggars by the light of my iPad. As a reproving schoolmarm the show flickers across my screen practically beckoning me to speak to my children with the same exemplary level of gracious patience that Michelle Duggar possesses. Gosh, don't you just love nice people? I sometimes wish I were born nicer. Like Michelle. Who happens to be the exact essence of sweetness personified. She is otherworldly gentle.

As it currently stands, my hair is too short and my soul too tortured and flesh too decorated and my edge too sharp and my tongue too hasty and my standards too liberal and my beliefs too shifting to emulate her too closely. But I can still learn from her. And be inspired. That I am.

While we're talking about nice people, I will say that I am genuinely touched by the kindness of those who have brought to my attention the error of my thinking regarding short term missions trips with gentleness and compassion. (Except, of course, in the cases where short term missions trips are demeaning, demoralizing, exploitative, and pretty much mortifyingly wretched.) But (according to the nice people) there are lots of other situations where goodness truly flows and lives are transformed and recipients of care are grateful and God moves in the hearts of all participants. That's really good.

This is as opposed to the one who corrected me without kindness and minimized my own experience, which also holds value in my ability to learn from it. Yeah, that was basically altogether unDuggarlike. It's alright. I can forgive. Because Mean Corrector and I have something in common. Neither of us as is nice as Michelle.

Driving in the Giant Bullet the other day Jayla and I were talking about her earliest memories. It occurred to me that most of what she spoke of happened around the age Clover is now. I asked Clover what her first memories were and she answered in her angelic little voice, "You mean today?" She had no idea what I was talking about. It was the cutest thing.

I thought about all her early years where I oohed and ahhed over her and kissed her face and her feet and fed her and changed her and bathed her and rocked her and sang to her and how I loved, loved, loved her since the day I learned she was on the horizon. She won't remember any of it. But I will. And it...that such an enormous gift to me. I love that girl with every ounce of syrup I have to pour. And then I imagine, it's probably a lot like how Michelle feels about her kids.

I guess I figure there may be hope for me yet...

My sleeping companion when daddy is out at night bringing home some bacon.

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